Rushdie’s attack should be a wakeup call not to enter another nuclear deal

Just last week, the European Union put forward what it described as the ‘final’ proposed text of a revived nuclear deal with Iran, a deal which has been under negotiation in Vienna since Joe Biden took office. On Friday morning, the Iranian state news agency reported that the EU’s proposed text ‘can be acceptable if it provides assurances’ to Tehran over its key demands, quoting a senior Iranian diplomat. The timing could hardly have been more illuminating. Hours after the report, Sir Salman Rushdie was brutally attacked by a knife-wielding assailant. Further reports have suggested that Iran’s IRGC (The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps was in direct contact with the man who stabbed Salman Rushdie.

Whilst the motive for the attack has not been officially been confirmed, one just needs to look at Rushdie’s reality since 1989 to understand more. In 1989, the former supreme leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, issued a fatwa stating the author and his publishers ‘are condemned to death. I call on all valiant Muslims wherever they may be in the world to kill them without delay so that no one will dare insult the sacred beliefs of Muslims henceforth. And whoever is killed in this cause will be a martyr.’

The words of the former supreme leader are not that different to Iran’s current supreme leader, Ali Khamenei who recently reportedly said the fatwa against Rushdie was ‘fired like a bullet that won’t rest until it hits its target.’

Iran remains a rogue state with a criminal regime that needs defeating. Just last week a member of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps was charged in the US with plotting the murder of John Bolton, the former US National Security Adviser. Both on its own and using its terrorist proxies, such as Hezbollah, Iran has a long history of attempted and successful murders. Also last week, Masih Alinejad, an Iranian opposition activist and writer in exile in New York City, said that the man who was arrested after he was found to have a gun while outside her Brooklyn home was “an Iranian agent.”

This is the Iran with which the US, France, Germany, Britain, Russia and China signed a nuclear deal in 2015, and with which they are attempting to revive that deal now in Vienna. These countries’ apparent inability to see anything beyond the nuclear deal is problematic, especially considering that several high-ranking Iranian officials have reportedly bragged that Tehran can build a nuclear bomb

The Iranian regime has proven time and time again that they cannot be trusted with any sort of deal. So how can the U.S. sit across the table with such a regime and expect it to keep its word? One cannot reason with those who deputize citizens to kill on US soil. The attack on Salman Rushdie is a wake-up call that Iran cannot be trusted. This is not the time to provide Tehran sanctions relief to revive an old nuclear deal.

Image Credit: Fronteiras do Pensamento/Flickr

Tags : Iran